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Former CEO of Marks & Spencer shares wisdom during launch of University of Bristol £35,000 New Enterprise Competition

3 December 2007

Leading business man and former CEO of Marks & Spencer, Roger Holmes visited the University of Bristol on 9th November to launch officially the University’s annual New Enterprise Competition.

Leading business man and former CEO of Marks & Spencer, Roger Holmes visited the University of Bristol on 9th November to launch officially the University’s annual New Enterprise Competition. Staff and students at the University of Bristol gathered to see Roger Holmes who welcomed competitions such as the New Enterprise Competition 2008 as a way of stimulating entrepreneurship within today’s enterprising generation.

The University of Bristol’s New Enterprise Competition is designed to inspire new high growth business ideas and entrepreneurial talent. Launched every autumn, the competition is open to students, staff and recent graduates of the university. There is a substantial prize fund in the region of £35,000 including cash, free professional advice and managed office space to help make businesses a commercial success. The closing date for entry in the 2008 competition is 26 February 2008.

This year guest speakers at the launch included University of Bristol Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eric Thomas and Roger Holmes.

Roger Holmes studied Mechanical Engineering at Bristol before beginning his career with the consultancy firm McKinsey. He then joined Kingfisher in 1994 as finance director of DIY retail chain B&Q. He became managing director of Woolworth’s and then, briefly, chief executive of Kingfisher’s electrical retailing division. Mr Holmes was then headhunted by M&S to lead the UK retail operations and became chief executive in September 2001.

Staff and students were told to submit their business plans by 26 February 2008. The best entries, as judged by a panel of experts from the sponsoring organisations including Bristol City Council, Business West, Deloitte, Fortis Bank, STMicroelectronics, Osborne Clarke, Sulis Innovation, BOC Edwards and UBHT, will then be invited to submit full business plans. Winners, to be announced at the prestigious Enterprise Dinner in the summer of 2008, will be awarded cash prizes and support to help bring their ideas to the marketplace.

Part of the prize pool includes six months worth of managed office space at the Bristol SETsquared Acceleration Centre. The SETsquared Business Acceleration Centres are part of the SETsquared Partnership, the collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey, which support early-stage technology, high growth potential ventures from both within and outside the universities to accelerate their businesses. Each Centre provides entrepreneurs business mentoring and guidance support to entrepreneurs and business professionals and office space.

Further information

Research & Enterprise Development, University of Bristol, Senate House, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TH
tel: 0117 928 8676
Please contact Sadia Haq for further information.
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